Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an infographic detailing the importance of the super element molybdenum. Few elements have a higher melting point than molybdenum, making it an extremely tough metal.

A small amount of molybdenum in a product can make a significant contribution to its performance. Molybdenum contributes to sustainable development by improving strength, hardness, corrosion resistance, and high temperature strength of end products we rely on every day. In alloy steels, molybdenum improves strength and hardness, making it vital in the production of lighter but stronger steel.

To meet the ever increasing demand for this super metal, in 2014, the U.S. produced more than 65,000 tons of molybdenum, valued at approximately $1.8 million. However, the current state of the complex U.S. mining permit process has caused unnecessary delays in further developing our nation’s natural resources. It is not unusual for proposed mining projects to languish for decades in bureaucratic red tape while awaiting a permit. By comparison, it takes about two years to receive a mine permit in Australia and Canada.

Despite permit inefficiencies, global demand for molybdenum is expected to grow by 4.6% per year for the foreseeable future.